'Care Gives Me Quality of Life' as We Continue George Thomas Hospice Care's Light Up a Life Campaign, Patient ADRIAN EVANS Writes of the Impact the Hospice Has Had on His and His Family's Lives

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Byline: Jessica Flynn Community Affairs Correspondent jessica.flynn@walesonline.co.uk

AT 80 years of age and a major consumer of the NHS, I am enjoying a quality of life that I did not anticipate a year or so ago THANKS to the support and expertise of the palliative care team of George Thomas Hospice Care (GTHC).

I am also grateful for the ongoing care from the GP practice and the cancer and psychiatric specialists at Velindre and Whitchurch Hospital respectively.

I was referred to GTHC in August 2011 on discharge from Velindre Hospital with "partial paralysis of legs due to degeneration of the lower spine" and confined to a wheelchair.

This followed five months of chemotherapy treatment during 2010 for prostate cancer. It was first diagnosed in 2002 and later spread to the spine and pelvis.

From January to April 2011, I was recovering from a severe episode of clinical depression - a health problem since 1979 which led to early retirement from the NHS on medical grounds in 1983.

Following a short stay in the University Hospital of Wales in January/February this year - my legs had "given way" - I have been under the care of the palliative care team of GTHC.

It has been a revelation and my first experience of being LOOKED after by health care staff who are specialists in palliative care. GTHC has specialists in social WORK, welfare rights, bereavement and counselling for adults and children and a range of activities in Ty George Thomas - a breathlessness management group, multi-disciplinary day centre, bereavement group, out-patients clinic, complementary therapies, social interactions, mutual support and friendship, and respite for carers. …